Printing Services Industry


The Indian printing services industry plays a pivotal role in providing a wide range of products, including newspapers, magazines, packaging materials, and marketing collateral. To meet the increasing demand for high-quality print materials, printing companies must ensure efficient and uninterrupted production. Breakdowns in machinery can significantly disrupt operations and lead to costly downtime. In this article, we delve into the crucial role of breakdown maintenance in the Indian printing services industry and its impact on overall productivity and profitability.

1) The Indian Printing Services Industry: A Growing Sector

India’s printing services industry has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years. As the second-largest newspaper market in the world and a substantial demand for packaging materials and other print products, the industry is poised for continued expansion. In 2021, the printing industry in India was valued at over 11 billion USD, and it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% until 2026, according to IndustryARC.

2) Understanding Breakdown Maintenance

Breakdown maintenance, also known as corrective or reactive maintenance, refers to the practice of repairing equipment and machinery after it has broken down or failed to function correctly. While preventive maintenance aims to reduce breakdowns by regularly scheduled inspections and repairs, breakdown maintenance becomes necessary when unforeseen failures occur.

3) The Cost of Breakdowns in Printing Services

In the highly competitive printing services sector, unplanned equipment downtime can have severe consequences. The costs of breakdowns extend beyond just the repair expenses. They include lost production time, increased labor costs due to overtime work to compensate for delays, and potential damage to the company’s reputation and customer relationships.

A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Packaging revealed that small and medium-sized printing enterprises in India experienced an average of 3 to 4 breakdowns per month, costing them approximately 15% to 20% of their annual revenue. This highlights the urgency for effective breakdown maintenance strategies.

4) The Role of Breakdown Maintenance

While preventive maintenance is essential in mitigating potential failures, breakdown maintenance remains a critical component of the overall maintenance strategy in the printing services industry. Some key roles of breakdown maintenance are as follows:

a. Reducing Downtime:

In the event of a breakdown, quick and efficient maintenance can significantly reduce downtime, allowing the printing company to resume operations swiftly.

b. Cost Efficiency:

While breakdown maintenance can be considered costlier on a per-incident basis, a well-structured breakdown maintenance plan can be more cost-effective than overly frequent preventive maintenance for certain types of printing equipment.

c. Extending Equipment Life:

Properly executed breakdown maintenance, along with timely repairs, can extend the lifespan of printing machinery, ensuring the optimal utilization of resources.

5) Implementing an Effective Breakdown Maintenance Plan

For printing companies to benefit from breakdown maintenance, they must adopt a well-thought-out plan. Here are some steps to consider:

a. Equipment Monitoring:

Implementing condition monitoring systems that keep track of machinery health can provide early warning signs of potential failures, enabling timely intervention before catastrophic breakdowns.

b. Skilled Workforce:

Ensure that the maintenance team is well-trained and equipped to handle breakdowns promptly and effectively. Invest in ongoing training to keep them updated on the latest technologies and best practices.

c. Spare Parts Inventory:

Maintain an adequate inventory of critical spare parts to minimize delays in case of breakdowns. Collaborate with suppliers who can provide prompt deliveries to reduce downtime.

d. Root Cause Analysis:

Conduct thorough root cause analysis for breakdowns to identify underlying issues that can be addressed through preventive maintenance, thereby reducing future breakdown occurrences.


Breakdown maintenance remains an indispensable aspect of the Indian printing services industry. While preventive maintenance can minimize the occurrence of breakdowns, it is essential to have a well-structured breakdown maintenance plan in place to handle unforeseen failures promptly and efficiently. By focusing on reducing downtime, cost efficiency, and extending equipment life, printing companies can enhance productivity, maintain their competitive edge, and provide high-quality products and services to their customers in this dynamic and ever-growing industry.


IndustryARC: “India Printing Inks Market – Industry Analysis, Market Size, Share, Trends, Application Analysis, Growth and Forecast 2021 – 2026”

Indian Institute of Packaging Study (2019): “Maintenance Management in Printing Industry – A Study Conducted in and Around Pune City.”

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